Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Shonnie Murrell | Singer & Celebrity Percussionist

The thought behind owning my own business as well as being an entertainer is simple! Ownership. I have always had a business mind frame that stem from My mother owning her hair company for over 30 years. I was born into it! Read more>>

Michael Duckworth | CEO

The start of True Anomaly was something that grew out of a desire to explore how far we could take our passion for brewing. What started in the garage was a hobby that quickly turned into an enthusiastic drive for all things craft beer. We spent about 10 years honing our craft, and over the years of product development we naturally became more aware of what the Houston market had in abundance, and where it was lacking. During this time we also received tons of invaluable feedback on what we were doing well, and how those things could help bridge the gaps in the marketplace. While we often dreamed of opening a brewery, ultimately, it was our hard work in putting together a business plan that provided us the opportunity to open our own business. We had to see what made financial sense, what was viable, and what level of investment was needed to get our vision off the ground. Read more>>

Hind Farag | Executive Coach, Strategy Consultant & Energy Analytics Leader

I had somehow always been attracted to the idea of building my own business to partner with people and organizations on crafting and navigating their transformational journeys. It had never felt like it was time until three years ago, when I was working as VP of Global Commodity Analytics with Wood Mackenzie, a global energy research and advisory firm. At that point, going through the day-to-day operational responsibilities of my senior leadership role was starting to feel mundane. In contrast, I felt so invigorated when I was developing, mentoring, and/or coaching leaders or partnering with executives to develop long-term visions and strategic roadmaps. I started aching to do more of this not only for my employer, and colleagues but also for other growing businesses and aspiring leaders. Read more>>

Suzy Simmons | Principal & Head of Creative

IT’S A BOY! In early 2006, Brad and I were two corporate grunts who daydreamed about owning our own creative agency after years of working with Fortune 500 companies and managing other creative agencies. We would talk for hours about “we’d do this” and “we wouldn’t do that”. So they started planning. And planning. We just didn’t want to open a design agency but something more niched and strategic. We chose to focus on strategic branding. Read more>>

Melody Fraser | Float Coach & Owner

When I decided to open Blissful waters I knew I loved float therapy. I was traveling to Austin quite regularly for weekend “time outs”. I was beginning to really feel the value it was bringing to my life. Houston had a few float centers, I floated at all of them . The drive home north was leaving me in need of another float when I made it back to my zip code. “I said every zip code needs their own float center ” to my husband. We were going through yet another lay off season in oil and gas. He looked at me and said would you want to start a business. Absolutely! It didn’t take any thinking on what type of business. I knew how floating helped me with daily anxiety, and finding that inward peace. The other side effects more creativity, my senses were heightened, and better outlook on life were all extra. I was focused on how to bring a float center to my community and the journey began. Read more>>

William Vanderbloemen | CEO & Founder

I wish I could tell you it was a crystal clear thought process with a well defined plan. It was neither. I had a strong sense that I had found a solution for a very real need and from there, we went all in to try and build a new idea. The solution I saw was the way the business world used executive search to find great leaders. I realized it was a solution that wasn’t present in the church world, and was badly needed. But I knew that trying to convince churches to try a new idea is historically a tough sell. I’m a big believer that the tougher the sell, the more energy and effort needed to get going. Read more>>

Jessica Bird | Owner & Designer

When I chose to start my own business, my goal was to find creative freedom, financial independence and create a lifestyle and career that I could truly enjoy. Read more>>

Leslie Lerner | Broker

In 2013, after 20 years in the real estate business, I decided it was time to take a risk and start my own brokerage. As we know, Realtors are a dime a dozen. I had to think about how I was going to be different. It was evident technology was changing our business. Buyers and sellers had a lot more information at their fingertips than they did when I entered the business. With this is mind, I sat down with a pen and small piece of paper to outline a business plan. I figured out how I could benefit the consumer and still make a living. I called it flat fee listings and rebated commissions. I understood I was taking a huge risk, but knew if I offered the same hands-on, full service I always provided, then I had a chance to make it. The next day I registered a domain name and started building my website. Read more>>

Lindsey Krezeczowski | Resin Artist & Woodworker

Jon and I started “The Rustic Craftsman” with a vision of building and creating upscale, custom farmhouse and modern farmhouse style furniture and high end river tables. Having finished several projects for our own home, we decided to put our tools and garage space to use and start a business. With that vision in mind, Jon taught me most of what he knew of working with the various tools and with wood while we completed projects together. He has the analytical/engineering background, so designing, measuring, and building are natural to him. While he still worked a 9-5 job as a Sales Director, I wanted to come up with my own way to contribute to our new business venture, I knew I wasn’t going to jump right into pouring river tables by myself, but I figured I could definitely make some pretty neat charcuterie board to have some smaller offerings for customers. Read more>>

Iryna Ilyk | Tango Teacher & Events Organizer

I wanted to follow my heart and expand on what makes me happy the most. I love to dance and to work on personal growth, and argentine tango the best way to combine both for me personally. Tango changed my life, changed me , brought many new friends and adventures to my life, and it just make me feel like I’m flying and being the most true to myself. I would love for others to have a chance to enjoy the dance if that is to their liking, I love giving people an opportunity to do so and to see what positive things it brings to their life and just to see them smile, is everything. So this became my non-profit. Read more>>

Christopher Robin | Owner & Customer Advocate

When I started my business it was out of desperation. I had been laid off from my corporate job and and after many months of searching and still unemployed my bank account had reached a low point. Though I had always had a creative entrepreneurial mindset; and had owned a couple of small businesses prior with some limited success; I did not have a plan and I was quickly running out of options. I realized soon I would homeless if I didn’t find a solution. I’m not sure why I chose cleaning as a business. It just popped in my head. I had never really cleaned before and didn’t have any prior experience. I didn’t even have a business plan. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I think sometimes we have to eliminate all options of turning back. Burn our bridges so to speak. In my case, my options had ran out and my fight or flight response kicked in. Read more>>

Sharon Kapp | Yoga Therapist & Ayurvedic Doctor

Everyone has a duty to become a better version of themselves over time. Using their challenges as opportunity for learning. We call this Dharma, Sacred Duty in Sanskrit, the ancient language from the Indian sub-continent. Being raised by a strong single Mother to be thoughtful, independent, dependable, caring and pro-active, I decided the best way to honor my upbringing was to put this into practice as a service, launching Houston Yoga & Ayurvedic Wellness Center to bring these core communal qualities into the fabric of daily living through the practice of Yoga; the union of breath, body & mind, and Ayurveda; the science of self healing through becoming one with nature. One of my core beliefs is in the power of “each one, teach one”. We started this center to bring back the sense of community wellness outreach through each individual who trained, learned or participated in this philosophy. Read more>>

Fletch Wiley

Thought process? Ha!! I was a musician, married with two small children. I had a great gig with Andrae Crouch (wonderful black gospel artist) but it was time to get off the road and stay home. So I went into arranging and producing music back in the 70’s. Still didn’t totally get me off the road, but it helped. Read more>>

Erick and Cissy Jones | Owners & $neaker Enthusiast Clothing

Before we opened the store, I was working in the oil and gas industry which required a large amount of travel and was keeping me away from the wife and kids. So we wanted an Avenue that would allow us to still make money and also allow for family time. Read more>>

Steve Tchiengang | Avid Photographer

During a family vacation in Utah where my family took family pictures for our Christmas card, I was so impressed with the job the photographer did to the point that it sparked in me an interest in photography. Couple months later, I was taking steps toward learning the art with the hope that one day I would deliver product to the level of that photographer in Utah. Read more>>

Jen Hayes | Designer

Design felt inaccessible to the majority of the people I knew, even my close friends felt as as if hiring an Interior Designer was something only reserved for the wealthy. I realized that I wanted to create a company based on a business model that brought great design to people across all budget spectrums. And I did just that! Read more>>